CMS sportsman's team named district champsPisgah wins first in archery; Bethel Middle places fourth in division
The Canton Middle and Pisgah High School sportsmans teams will be moving on to state championships in April after winning several awards during district tournaments in Columbus, NC.
Canton Middle's team won first place overall in the junior division, taking home three first-place awards including archery, rifle, and orienteering and second-place in shotgun. Individually, seventh-grader Merit Kuykendall stood out in the group, taking first-place in shotgun and in archery.
"Canton Middle's skills and knowledge test scores were some of the highest that had ever been seen in district competition," said Coach David Franklin, crediting the help of Rene Norris and Jennifer Best for helping to pick the kids up after school and taking them to study group.
"This team really stepped it up this year," he said.
The Pisgah team is poised to do well at the state tournament as well after winning second-place overall in the senior division of the competition and placing first in archery with a score of 992 over the weekend.
"Game wardens said that was the highest [archery] score they ever remembered at district," Franklin said. "A score of 991 won state in 2013."
Standouts from the high school team were freshmen Dalton King and Kenneth Farmer, both of whom shot perfect scores in archery. King won the archery individual award with 11 x's while Farmer had seven x's.
Pisgah also won second-place in shotgun and third-place rifle.
The Bethel Middle School team placed fourth overall in the junior division, missing third place by 20 points, and they took home second-place in archery.
Franklin has high hopes for the Bethel Middle team's future.
"The fact that this is Bethel's first year competing and even with the struggles of starting a program with basically nothing, the kids have come together and exceeded everyone's expectations," Franklin said.
Canton Middle and Pisgah are both automatically qualified for the state tournament based on the results from district championships. Bethel has an outside chance, depending on scores from other districts.
The state championships will take place Saturday, April 26 at Millstone 4H Camp in Ellerbe, NC, where the teams will compete against public, private and homeschool teams from across the state.
Franklin made a point to thank the coaches including Kevin Norris, Ashley Ensley, Randy and Denise Ledford and Mike Frazier.
"Without volunteers these clubs would not exist," he stressed.
He also thanked Bowed Up Archery for assisting with fundraising and Canton Food Lion for providing lunch to the teams during district competition.